§ 3. Mr. Miller
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what measures his Department is taking to improve openness in government. 
§ The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Dr. David Clark)
I hope to publish a White Paper on freedom of information before the summer recess.
§ Mr. Miller
I am grateful, as I am sure that the entire House will be, for that answer. Will the Bill ensure that quangos are more open and accountable?
§ Dr. Clark
My hon. Friend has a long record of trying to promote openness in government. I well recall his successful efforts to ensure that Hansard went on the Internet. He has my assurance that we are determined to make quangos more accountable and open. That will certainly be covered by the Bill. In the meantime, my colleagues and I are keen to encourage the appropriate bodies to take heed of that and to consider ways of making their activities more open to the general public.
§ Mr. Mackinlay
In his review of open government, will my right hon. Friend contemplate considerably reducing the embargo on public records from 30 years? We should like to scrutinise the records to find out whether, during their negotiations in 1982, the Conservative Government contemplated handing over the Falkland Islands this year. Some openness on the stewardship of government by the Tories in the past 18 years would be most welcome.
§ Mr. Maclennan
I welcome the information that the Chancellor of the Duchy provided at the beginning of his answer. Does he favour greater openness in respect of the budgetary process so as to open up for responsible fiscal debate the options that the Government are considering? While recognising that certain price-sensitive information cannot be published, does he agree that much of the rigmarole that we have today is fuddy duddy, archaic and unhelpful?
§ Dr. Clark
It is my intention that when we introduce a freedom of information Bill we should exclude as little as 281 possible. The issue of advice proffered to Ministers must be weighed up, but I intend to ensure that factual and analytical information is made available as widely and openly as possible.
§ Mr. Sutcliffe
My right hon. Friend will know that under the previous Government a fifth of all public spending was in the hands of 70,000 quangocrats. Will he make sure that his review examines the position of the Tory place men and women?
§ Mr. William Ross
As so much of Northern Ireland is controlled by quangos, the right hon. Gentleman will understand that we have a particular interest in openness in government. Given also the statement yesterday by Mr. Ray Burke, the Foreign Minister of the Irish Republic, that if a parade were forced down the Garvaghy road, there would beserious implications for matters in this island",will the right hon. Gentleman undertake to publish all the minutes of meetings of the intergovernmental conference and the secretariat?
§ Mrs. Gillian Shephard
In the interests of open government, would the right hon. Gentleman be kind enough to describe to the House the nature of the inquiry into the allegations by the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Smith) announced by the Prime Minister last Wednesday? By whom was the inquiry conducted? Who was interviewed and by whom?